A simple kids menu that doubles as an activity sheet can be a game changer when dining out with kids. Most of the time I have a bag of tricks inside my tote to keep the boys occupied when we are out and about, but occasionally I forget to pack it like I did recently when we went off bush walking in the Blue Mountains (the tote was swapped for a backpack and the activity pack got left behind).
After our hike we stopped in at The Bunker in the lovely mountains village of Springwood for a spot of breakfast. The boys were pooped after their big walk and I realised as soon as we sat down that I forgot my busy bag for them, but I shouldn't have fretted because as soon as our backsides had hit our seats, an activity sheet was immediately in front of the boys complete with a cup of crayons! There are actually two different activity sheets - one has puzzles on it and the other has pieces of fruit on it that can be coloured in. And the kids activities at The Bunker don't stop there, as I've also seen on the Bunker's FB page that inside they have a Ipad station inside the cafe! We were sitting outside and there was no way I was going to let my electronic obsessed sons inside to check it out...especially after we had just had such a successful morning outdoors in Mother Nature.
With the boys happily occupied we ordered our coffee and food. They serve Morgans Coffee at The Bunker and golly gosh it makes a sublime brew. The beans are roasted just down the highway in Emu Plains and I wish that we would see more of it served in the city. The boys had kid size milkshakes ($4.50) that came in kid friendly disposable cups - they also offer kids size versions of smoothies, hot chocolates, lemonade, orange & apple juice too.
To be honest, we did wait quite a while for our meals to arrive (40mins +) which is not ideal when dining out with kids and why we normally have breakfast early on weekends and not in the peak time of 9am. If there are any first time parents reading this I thoroughly recommend that you dine out with kids at breakfast time bright and early! Firstly you are mostly guaranteed a table; the staff should be full of energy and not frazzled by a full cafe; the kitchen normally can pump out meals quickly; and lastly there shouldn't be too many of those diners around who perhaps don't like little humans.
Luckily when the food finally arrived it was delicious - the kid's fruit & yoghurt came in a big bowls and they could have easily shared one; and our breaky bruschetta ($15.50) with its mashed avo, tomato salsa, fetta, balsamic & a poached egg was an excellent size serve and perfect to fill our hungry bellies. The breakfast menu ranges in price from $5.50 - $19.50 and includes all of your cafe favourites. At lunch time you can have a steak sandwich, chicken snitty with slaw, lemon pepper squid, soup of the day, a chicken breast wrap, a BLAT, prawn pappardelle or a yummy sounding salad and once again the most expensive item is $19.50.
The Bunker is also open for dinner from 5.00pm so you can enjoy a nice early dinner there too. On the menu for kidlets is macaroni & cheese, sausage & vegies, fish & chips, or chicken & chips and all of these meals cost $11.00. The big peoples menu averages around $30.00 and they have really delicious sounding options for both herbivores and carnivores. They are also fully licensed so you can have a sneaky wine or two to help you get through the experience of dining out with kids during the witching hour!
There are quite a few car parks around Springwood as well as some street parking available. Access into The Bunker is really easy with your pram and if you are dining with friends who also have prams it may be wise to ring ahead and make a booking and let them know. They also have high chairs available and the toilets are located inside the cafe. And for something fun why don't you catch the train up! The Springwood station is just down the road from The Bunker.
After your meal, make sure you have a wander around the quaint village of Springwood. There are some lovely shops, a cute old church and a little enclosed playground is across the road and down a bit from The Bunker too. If you really want to tire out your kids you can take them on a bush walk - we did the Fairy Dell to Lawson's Lookout before breakfast and it was a great hour long family bushwalk suitable for kids 4 years plus - please note the walk is not pram friendly, however you could carry them on your back if you were feeling energetic!
Do you eat out early with your Little Munchers? Or do you brave the late morning brunch crowd?
150 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW
Mon - Tue: closed
Wed - Sun: 7am - late